Edited by Azizi Powell
This pancocojams post showcases two videos that present examples of traditional African scarification.
One of these videos also showcast examples of African face/body painting.
This post is part of an ongoing pancocojams series about traditional and contemporary tattoos and scarification, and traditional and contemporary African face and body painting.
WARNING*: Topless women are shown in some portions of these videos.
The content of this post is presented for folkloric, cultural, and aesthetic purposes.
Thanks to all those who are featured in this post and all those who are quoted in this post. Thanks also to the publishers of these videos on YouTube.
*One reason why I include WARNING notices in this and other pancocojams posts is to alert adults in public or private schools or other institutions who might want to use this post as supplemental educational material, but are prohibited from or reluctant to use material that contains content that is considered problematic for children and youth in their particular culture/s.
Use pancocojams' internal search engine or click the "traditional and contemporary African face and body painting" tag below to find other pancocojams post on this subject.
WARNING: Some topless women are shown in some portions of these videos.
Example #1: Scarifications(Musique de Dobet Gnahore- Boudou)
Jahdid2, Published on Feb 6, 2012
(Musique et paroles de Dobet Gnahore from Album Djekpa La You )
En Afrique Noire, le tatouage est essentiellement tribal et effectué par scarifications. C'est un embellissement et aussi un vêtement.
Chez le peuple "Sarakole" d'Afrique Occidentale, les gencives des filles sont tatouées en bleu, à l'aide d'une épine vers l'âge de 13/14 ans.
En Afrique le tatouage permettait de prouver son identité par une marque tribale, et de se différencier des esclaves, qui eux, n'étaient pas marqués.
Le tatouage et la scarification en Afrique Noire sont revendicateurs des rites d'initiation. Ils peuvent accompagner le fait d'appartenir à une communauté, marquer le passage d'un état à un autre (celui d'enfant à adolescent ou d'adolescent à adulte).
Toutes ces agressions corporelles vont fortifier la personnalité de celui qui les subies, et augmenter ses forces vitales.
Chez les "Konkomba" du Togo du nord, les hommes et les femmes ont le torse entièrement scarifié et portent sur le visage des dessins noircis au charbon représentant la tribu.
Google translation from French to English
In Black Africa, the tattoo is essentially tribal and carried out by scarifications. It is an embellishment and also a garment.
Among the "Sarakole" people of West Africa, the gums of girls are tattooed in blue, using a spine at the age of 13/14 years.
In Africa tattooing allowed to prove its identity by a tribal mark, and to differentiate themselves from slaves, who themselves were not marked.
Tattooing and scarification in Black Africa claim to be rites of initiation. They can accompany the fact of belonging to a community, mark the passage from one state to another (that of child to teenager or teenager to adult).
All these bodily attacks will strengthen the personality of the one who suffered them, and increase his vital forces.
In the "Konkomba" of northern Togo, the men and women have their torso completely scarified and bear on the face charcoal black drawings representing the tribe.
Example #2: Painted Bodies: African Body Painting, Tattoos, and Scarification
Rizzoli Books, Published on Sep 11, 2012
Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher have photographed the peoples and cultures of the Horn of Africa for more than 30 years. Together, they exhibit internationally and lecture widely at prestigious venues such as the American Museum of Natural History, The Explorers Club, The Smithsonian Institution, the National Geographic Society, and the Royal Geographical Society.
In "Painted Bodies", Beckwith and Fisher focus on the traditions of body painting spanning the vastly unique cultures of the African continent. Featured are portraits of the richly colored, detailed, and exquisite body paintings of the Surma, Karo, Maasai, Himba, and Hamar peoples, among others. Drawing from expeditions in the field and firsthand experiences with African peoples and cultures over the past thirty years and with more than 250 spectacular photographs, this is the definitive work on the expressiveness and imagination of African cultural painting of the human body.
Painted Bodies: African Body Painting, Tattoos, and Scarification
by Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher
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